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Jan 04, 2013 at 06:09pm IST

Stalin will remain powerless till his father remains DMK boss: Meenakshi Mahadevan

Is the DMK succession issue finally settled? CNN-IBN's senior correspondent Meenakshi Mahadevan joined IBNLive readers for an interaction on the issue.

Q. I think it will surely start a succession war like in the days of Aurangazeb's rule of Mughal dynasty. If Kalaignar is making a crucial decision, he should've made it 20 yrs before just like Mr Mulayam Singh paving way for his son to take over the reins of UP govt. Asked by: Anto, Bangalore

A. Its not the same here. Karunanidhi has made it clear in the same statement that as long as he's alive, he will continue to be the party chief. Any succession war can and will have to be only after his time.

Stalin will remain powerless till his father remains DMK boss: Meenakshi Mahadevan

Is the DMK succession issue finally settled?

Q. MK's announcement would have made both factions happy as well as unhappy. The news that Stalin would be MK's successor would have made Stalin faction happy and Alagiri faction sad. But the news that Stalin would be made leader only after MK's life would keep Stalin faction unhappy and give Alagiri faction more time to take action! Asked by: Ramesh

A. That's precisely how the supporters of both the sons are seeing the issue.. But party seniors and well wishers don't really want to envision the future of the party just as yet.. Their standard line - as long as Karunanidhi is alive, he's our only leader.

Q. While DMK is already in shambles by losing the status of being the leading opposition party,this move will further bring down their seats, if the brothers are going to part ways. Would you agree that the political strategist Mr. Karunanidhi fail to convince his own sons? Asked by: Ajay

A. I guess that's why he's not giving away the party mantle to either of them just yet.. Also, he surely knows the ground reality.. He will definitely want to wait for the right time to decide anything. until then, such statements will continue.. atleast helps in knowing mood in party.. ;)

Q. Jaya said that she will go alone in 2014, are there any chances of DMK-DMDK-INC alliance in 2014? Asked by: avishek

A. Looks pretty much like it at the moment.. Atleast Vijayakanth is giving all indications of going with the DMK.. Whether Congress remains in the alliance is something we'll have to wait and see.

Q. With most of dravidian idealogy being irrelevant in TN, How do you think Stalin can recast DMK? Asked by: bharat

A. I'm not sure if you can say its completely irrelevant.. its definitely diluted from what it used to be.. And Stalin in comparison to Karunanidhi is definitely seen as more moderate in his outlook.. You wont hear him pick up the Aryan/Dravidian issue as often as his father does.. For Karunanidhi however, its a tool that comes handy often in raising several issues.

Q. Its similar to post Balasaheb era. Not sure if Stalin enjoys visibility beyond Chennai or key towns of Tamil Nadu..If the leader is not visible, what can he expect in elections? Asked by: Paresh UAE

A. That's perhaps why Stalin hasn't already been made the leader of the party. Karunanidhi knows just like everyone else, that Stalin is yet to rise to that level where people know him as the leader of the DMK rather than the son of the leader.. Stalin has been trying hard to prove his credentials, but clearly papa isn't convinced.

Q. Can Stalin match Jaya in charisma? Asked by: joyeeta

A. You know the answer :)

Q. Where will Kanimozhi fits in this succession list, she was projected as National figure of DMK? Asked by: Kiran_KK

A. It's interesting you use the past tense.. If Karunanidhi were to see this, he would be furious. But seriously, I'm sure Karunanidhi is thinking of these very questions and that's why the "succession plan" hasn't really been chalked out clearly yet.. But rest assured, Karunandhi must be having a plan for Kanimozhi too.

Q. Don't you feel that the best bet for DMK is perhaps Stalin,SO far has a clean and Moderate image, No taint of corruption , so what is holding the actual annotation? Asked by: bharat

A. Wow! I wish it was that simple.. Let's see..to start with Azhagiri, then the senior party leaders who feel Stalin isn't really upto handling the party just as yet, and to top it all, Stalin's grip over the party, not just in Arivalayam, but out on the field across the state.

Q. Any news on Kanimozhi's take on this? She would also like to eat her share of pie. Asked by: Ramesh

A. Wait..wait... wait and watch :)

Q. There is a theory that Karunanidhi wants his sons to be rivals so that he can enjoy the power? Is Karunanidhi playing politics against his sons? Asked by: Jack Bauer

A. Haha... but what stops him from enjoying power anyway? He's already the leader and he's made it very clear that until he's alive he'll continue to lead the party.

Q. Is the anti-incumbency wind already blowing against Jaya? Asked by: avishek

A. The power situation in the state is definitely working against her.. But its too early to gauge the mood. We will know more closer to the general elections.

Q. How will the party be under Stalin's leadership? Asked by: Maakan

A. That's the million dollar question!! I want to know the answer as much as you do!

Q. Well, the Madurai strongman's late arrival is surely aimed at the throne but where Stalin has spent more than half of his life in politics since the days he questioned the administration & authority of Mrs Indira Gandhi. After all these yrs, If he has given the helm means its like Prince charles finally succeeding his Queen mother. Do you think Mr Kalaignar has failed to realize & recognize his younger son's capabilities otherwise it may look like his sons were immature until now to hold a such powerful party on their own? Asked by: Anto, Bangalore

A. Even now, he has not been named the successor.. Let's listen to his statement carefully.. Karunanidhi says he would continue to work "for the upliftment of society" till the last breath of his life and the answer to who would do that "after" him is Stalin.. It's of course a strong hint - maybe stronger than he had veer hinted earlier.. But I have this feeling this isn't the end of this story! We will hear more soon.

Q. Do you think 2G scam will be an issue in the upcoming General elections? Asked by: Chole O Brain

A. Was it an issue in the assembly elections? I guess people care more for issues concerning their livelihood.

Q. At the age of 60 Stalin is called as the Youth Icon of the party? do you think today's younger generation is ready to accept him as a youth leader? Asked by: Bhondu Ram

A. Ha ha :) good question.. But atleast his own party cadre looks upto him as the real "dhalapthi" whether he'll go on become thalaivar is the question :)

Q. Stalin will still be powerless in his brother's own land-Madurai, Nellai, Tuiticorin & rest other south TN zones even after this statement by his father? Asked by: Anto, Bangalore

A. His father's statement is not new and hasn't been made for the first time. And he will remain powerless till his father remains the leader of the party.

Q. Who will the congress ally with in 2014? DMK or ADMK? Asked by: MAAKAN

A. Congress and AIADMK alliance seems very unlikely... Whether they will continue with DMK or not only needs to be seen..

Q. What about Marans? Where do they stand? Asked by: Jerry

A. Where do they stand now anyway? I remember Karunanidhi saying once that Marans are capable of handling their own issues.

Q. Corruption was definitely an issue in 2011 assembly elections and 2G was an issue? Asked by: Chole O Brain

A. Yup it was.. but I guess power crisis was a bigger issue.

Q. Do you think Karunanidhi made a mistake by bringing too many people from the family into politics? Asked by: Kim

A. He hasn't really suffered much because of that... Except for the succession issue and maybe Kanimozhi getting caught in the 2G maze, there's not much he'll have to regret about.

Q. Is M K Alagiri's son Durai Dayanidhi contesting in upcoming 2014 General elections? Asked by: Neena Myres

A. No such indication yet.

Q. There is a larger issue of promoting dynasty over merit. A young and aspiring India may not take these kind of politics for long. Rahul Gandhi's popularity may be a good indication. Does young India look up to him as a role model or as an agent for change? May be the use by date is nearing for such parties. Asked by: bharat

A. It's also a question of who can lead the party after him? How many other leaders can you think of in DMK who are capable of leading the party?

Q. Is Karunanidhi having a Gameplan? His recent statement has some hidden meaning? What do you think? Asked by: Kuttan Ammatan

A. Yup.. we have heard such statements from him several times before.. only to be turned around later.. Even this time, he hasn't really spelt it out clearly.. this isn't over yet.

Q. People say M K Alagiri is more polite with party men than his younger brother M K Stalin? Asked by: Innocent jerry

A. They certainly seem to be doing a good job of hiding that in public! :)

Q. Why cant Karunanidhi conduct a survey to find out the party workers choice? Asked by: Jerry

A. Maybe cos he already knows the result.

Q. As a journalist if you have to say something that Stalin lacks...what would that be? Asked by: Tony Almeda

A. The wit of his father, the confidence of speaking his mind out on crucial issues

Q. What is the relationship between the two alliance partners cong and DMK? Is the alliance stable? Asked by: tom

A. Stable is too strong a word.. Its an alliance of convenience at best.

Q. If Azhagiri competes for the party leadership this time, then Stalin and Kanimozhi would compete too. A four-way competition is something MK wouldn't have seen all his life as party leader. Atleast it would show some light on what the party thinks should be their leader!! Asked by: Ramesh

A. The competition is something Karunanidhi will have to see till the end of his life. He has made it clear he will continue as party leader till his last breath, so he'll have to be putting up with the tussle for power within his own house and party.. And as for knowing what his party workers want, I guess he knows the answer very well.

Q. Who is easier to handle? Stalin or Alagiri? What do party workers say? Asked by: Bill Bucanan

A. Not sure what you mean by easy to handle!! They both have their loyal set of cadres.. Both want people who'd not question their authority or undermine their position in the party.. So I guess all politicians are the same - not easy to handle!! :)

Q. Why does Karunanidhi wear a yellow shawl all the time? Asked by: Anto Peter

A. Ha ha!! may I dare to call it a superstition or diplomatically say - it's a habit!!

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